During the past year, restaurants throughout the country have had to adapt to new ways of operating, not only to serve food, but to reassure customers worried about their safety.

In the case of Carlisle restaurant The Viceroy, the experiences of last twelve months have been formative and are helping to shape their next steps as a venue.

“It’s been good for us in the sense that it’s allowed us to evaluate how we provide our service, says Alamgir Ali, the son of owner. "We have a different way of serving our takeaway food now. Thankfully, we have always made a good amount of takings from takeaways Even so, we were very much adapting on the spot."

"We created a more efficeint way of getting customers their food. We implemented a new system where we gave everyone a time that their food would be ready. Now 95 per cent of customers will get their food on time.

The Viceroy is gearing up to reopen on April 12 when lockdown restrictions are eased. One way Mr Ali will be ensuring safer conditions is by using a contactless virtual menu for food and drinks, which will be accessed through a QR Code upon arrival in the venue.

“We’ve learned a lot over the past twelve months. We’ll be carrying on with keeping things as hygienic as possible. We’ve always had top scores for hygiene but just keeping in mind customers’ health too and helping them feel safe in our restaurant when things return is really important to us.

"A big thing for us is that we give the customers the confidence that we are trying our best to keep everything safe. Last time we were able to reopen you could tell some people were a little apprehensive and nervous, so we want to make people feel comfortable."

Over the past year, The Viceroy has also cooked up a social media storm after it began supplying the stars of Carlisle United with post-match meals after home games.

Their efforts have since been hailed on Talksport and Sky Sports favourite Soccer AM.

“My father has had a long association with the club itself, from about the 1990s, in fact. He used to sponsor players back then, offering them free meals if they scored a hat-trick! He loves the club,” he reveals.

The current partnership, which has been in place all season, came about when current United manager Chris Beech came to the restaurant last year and vowed to strengthen the bond between the club and the public by teaming up with Mr Ali and his staff.

“It’s been great to be involved. It’s our local club and we’re really honoured to help.”